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Flexible workspace in Kuala Lumpur grew by 36 per cent in 2018.
Flexible workspace in Kuala Lumpur grew by 36 per cent in 2018.

LETTERS To some, the term “flexible workspace” evokes scenes of young freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-up founders scribbling ideas onto a glass window in the communal pantry area.

While these stereotypes of flexible workspaces or coworking spaces are not unfounded, they obscure and diminish the main reasons why a significant part of the workforce prefer these types of working environments.

According to IWG’s Global Workspace Survey, eight out of 10 workers would turn down a job that did not offer the option to choose and change their workplace location.

We’re seeing evidence of this demand in Malaysia. In 2018, flexible workspace in Kuala Lumpur grew by 36 per cent.

Five myths regarding the issue are:

THAT flexible workspaces are only for millennials.

On the contrary, millennials are the fastest growing segment of the workforce and will eventually make up the largest portion of it in certain countries.

The flexible and collaborative nature of flexible workspaces attracts a generation that is tech-savvy and ambitious, as well as autonomy and disruptive innovation, which is why many associate coworking spaces with millennials;

THERE is no privacy in flexible workspaces. An open, buzzing and collaborative coworking area is often pictured when one mentions flexible workspaces.

There is more to the space than meets the eye.

These office spaces can be tailored to the needs of a particular business;

MULTINATIONAL corporations will never need it.

When a large and established business intends to expand into a different country, flexible work-spaces can be a cost-effective alternative to investing in a permanent office space.

PEOPLE are only there for the free coffee. In some flexible workspaces, coffee and other amenities help create conversations and build networking; and,

FLEXIBLE workspaces are like normal offices, just prettier. Studies have shown that exposure to blues and greens can boost creativity, while red improves performance on tasks that require attention to detail.

Flexible workspaces offer a diverse range of work settings, including individual office rooms and communal tables which allow for more options for employees who work better in selected environments.


IWG country head of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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